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Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - 49 Reviews - 707 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR - Local Favorite Reviews - Phone (503) 232-2640

Rimsky-Korsakoffee House

707 SE 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 232-2640
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - Portland, OR
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - Portland, OR
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - Portland, OR
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - Portland, OR
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - Portland, OR
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - Portland, OR
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - Portland, OR
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - Portland, OR
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - Portland, OR
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - Portland, OR
Rimsky-Korsakoffee House - Portland, OR


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I have had the pleasure of eating yummy desserts and drinking perfectly prepared coffee and tea at Rimsky's several times over the past few decades. I am frankly shocked at the ne...


I ordered a double capp, but got a cup of swill with sudsy foam... this is not specialty coffee. Pros: desert, atmosphere Cons: their coffee

I just returned from a fairly 12/22/2011

I just returned from a fairly disappointing first visit to Rimsky-Korsakoffee House. The dessert itself was alright-- I personally did not enjoy mine but the rest of the group loved it, so it was probably a matter of taste. Regardless, the service was questionable at best. Our waitress was short-tempered and quite the downer. When she came to receive our order, I stepped in first and began to say what I wanted, in order to speed up the process (as we had a group of seven). She immediately interrupted me and said, ""Wait, no, we are starting with.....her"" and pointed at another member of the table. I saw no reason to her decision; in fact, it felt like a power play. Many similar incidents occurred over the course of our dessert. It truly would have been a much more enjoyable experience if she had just eased up on the sass. more

THE worst service I have ever experienced. 11/23/2010

PortlandBluePoet must be pals with someone who works at Rimsky's, is all I can say. Several years ago I swore I would never set foot in this overpriced, overhyped PITA of a restaurant again, after the time my friend and I went in and it took the waiter over half an hour to get through the basic steps of a) acknowledging our existence, b) giving us menus, and c) taking our orders, even though there was only one other table being served. 45 minutes later, we finally got our two slices of cake, cup of coffee, and glass of milk. Was the waiter in the kitchen, arduously baking the cakes himself, which, in my opinion, would be the only reasonable explanation for such a simple order taking so long? No, my friend found him out back, smoking a cigarette and chatting with a friend when she finally went looking for him. Then the check never arrived, so we tallied up the total ourselves and left a check - with a 10% tip, because my friend insisted. I wouldn't have left a dime, and I am normally the kind of tipper who leaves 25-35% without blinking. I'm not surprised to learn that nothing has apparently changed. If you want tasty desserts, a nice environment, and servers who don't act like they're much too special and important to actually SERVE people, go to Sweet Masterpiece or Pix - don't waste your time (literally) here. more

One of Portland's most special and unique restaurants 8/19/2010

I have had the pleasure of eating yummy desserts and drinking perfectly prepared coffee and tea at Rimsky's several times over the past few decades. I am frankly shocked at the negative reviews, as they are thoroughly contrary to my experiences! I am a New Yorker, and am not known for my patience or zen attitude. Rimsky's is a busy and popular place, a combination of a European-style coffee house and a zany, Portland restaurant. I've always had a wonderful time at Rimsky's, including just a few days ago. It's truly one of the most special spots in the city - one that helps ""keep Portland Weird"" (and may Portland always be so!)\r more

Not for the High Maintenance or Self-Important Crowd 8/9/2010

Surprise! The other reviews are right, the waiters and waitresses here do not kiss your boots as you walk in. If you want people to suck up to you just because you're ordering food from them, go somewhere else. You're not the kind of people who'll enjoy Rimsky's anyway. However, if you aren't in a huge hurry, want some delicious dessert, good coffee, or a variety of tea all wrapped up in a quirky ambiance complete with volumes of guestbooks with random poems and drawings, as well as live music from talented people around Portland, then it's an excellent establishment to go to. Again, if you want to be served immediately, don't carry cash (there is a sign right next to the ""please find a seat"" sign that says they take cash only, for literate people), or have a problem with the artsy Portland crowd, you may be frightened away - this place is a real restaurant, not a polished consumer flytrap. more

Worst Service In Portland 7/28/2010

We often take out of town guests to Rimsky's, but will never do so again. After waiting 25 minutes to be served, a male server came by and casually asked if we'd been helped. He didn't seem surprised that we hadn't. One of our party ordered a milkshake, and the server LITERALLY looked down his nose at him and informed him that, because they didn't have a blender (?), they couldn't possibly make a milkshake. We asked if they had (a) ice cream (b), chocolate syrup, (c) milk, (d) a glass, and (e) a spoon to mix it with. He informed us that his ""wrists were too weak"" to mix a milkshake by hand. We kinda gave up at that point. When everyone else's orders came to the table, he had the person closest to him pass out the spoons, dishes, and desserts to the table. I suppose the strain of passing out the orders was too much of a strain on those weakened wrists of his. We'd also brought a Scrabble board, which he managed to douse with water while distractedly trying to fill someone's water glass, -- he did not even NOTICE that he had done that, just kind of walked away afterwards and started talking to some friends of his that had just shown up at the door. In short, the service here is terrible, and that's saying something in Portland. I guess we should have apologized for showing up, spending money, and expecting to be served? Pros: Desserts are not too bad Cons: Service Staff more

Generally delicious dessert, terrible service 3/15/2010

I've been going to Rimsky's for 8 years. In high school, it was a fun place to go- relatively cheap desserts, a rotating, seasonal menu and a unique atmosphere. As we got older though, we grew up and be began noticing rising prices, worse and worse service, how dirty it always was, warm tap water, and the food on the seasonal menu is somehow always out so you can't even order it.\r We tolerated all these negatives, to occasionally go there for the mocha fudge cake, until a final straw ended it- none of us will ever go back.\r We showed up an hour before closing, and were told we were there late. One other group were the only other customers. It took twenty minutes for the waitress to take our order, and then twenty minutes to get our desserts. Mine was red velvet cake, that was crunchy and obviously old and not stored properly. \r We waited for the waitress to leave a check- and she never came back. We left the cash on the table, without a tip, and left. \r After driving home, I realized I'd left my cell phone there. They were still open, so I called to see if I'd be able to come back to get it. The waitress answered, and threatened to throw my cell phone in the garbage, because I hadn't left a tip for her ""terrific service."" She told me the next time I went to a restaurant, I should consider not being such a b*tch, or I should not be forgetful. I went to the restaurant, and a different woman gave me my cell phone- I told her what had happened, and she shrugged and shut the door.\r \r Although Rimsky's was a decent place to go in high school, for people looking for something besides some of the worst service in Portland, I would not recommend Rimsky's at all. Try Papa Haydn instead- the prices are higher, but it's clean, friendly, and worth it. Pros: Good coffee, desserts are almost always great, good menu Cons: horrible service, dirty, warm water, crowded more

Please don't go here! 1/19/2010

If I could give this place no stars I would have. Do yourself a favor and stay as far away from this place as possible! We went there to relax and have some dessert on a Sat night. Of course we expected it to be busy but it was obvious the managers did not bc there was only ONE person on the floor working. It was sad watching this poor girl dressed in what looked like a bad trip to Goodwill running around like a chicken w her head. cut off. It did explain her seriously bad BO, which for someone serving food to others is just unsanitary and disgusting. After eating very mediocre food and getting our check, we watched our cards sit on the table for 20 mins as the girl and now one other lady (who was wearing pajamas) repeatedly walk past our table and ignore us. I finally flag one of them down and they THEN proceed to tell us they only take cash. Couldn't they have mentioned something sometime during the 11 times they looked at our check as they walked past our table? We left our cash with 0 tip and walked out. they wouldn't have even noticed if we just left wo paying but we have more class than that. Needless to say, we will NEVER go back. Do yourself a favor and STAY AWAY. more

Dirty and Overrated 11/16/2009

The people who love this place must be the kind of people who think being cool is the end all be all of their existence. I had a date bring me here one night swearing it was a fabulous place to relax and have a cup of coffee. I can't relax and enjoy my coffee in such a dirty establishment and if you care about decent service go elsewhere! I swear if you turned on the lights there'd be a mad rush of rats and roaches. Disgusting! Pros: Interesting concept Cons: Everything else more

Rude employees, Worst service ever 6/14/2009

I didn't even get to try the desserts at this place because the service was so bad I had to leave. I came here with my family (Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother in-law) so we sat at ourselves (as instructed by the sign at the door) at the one table big enough to accommodate our group. As our server was taking our order she was informing us they were out of waffles (ok, those aren't made to order?) -fair enough we can get something else. Then another server came to our table to inform us there was more bad news...we were going to have to move to make room for a group of seven. Is that ok? No its not, because the table she tried to move us to was barely big enough for three people, let alone 5. AND it was dirty! We were also given the impression that we had no choice in the matter and HAD to move. I heard her mumbling to the group of 7 that we were not kidding! Amazing powers of perception! and yet she didn't care how we felt really and in fact seemed to expect us to leave, which we did! Im sorry we where there first and the other folks had already pushed 2 tables together and seemed to be making the best of their situation. So we left, and quite frankly I will never be back. I don't care how ""quaint"" and ""quirky"" they think they are, its no excuse to treat anyone the way we were treated. more

Not to be missed 2/14/2009

We love this place. Great vibe, music, coffee and dessert. Plan to spend some time just looking around and reading some journals. more

Great food, awesome atmosphere 11/30/2008

This easily one of my favorite spots in Portland. The ambiance is homey, and quirky, with great classical music on most nights-- in fact, each table is named for a renowned composer. The desserts are excellent, and not very expensive. And the servers are great, at least the ones I have encountered. They were prompt and very friendly, even when the place was swamped. Rimsky's is a quintessential Portland experience, an absolute must for visitors to town. Much preferable to all the lame coffee chains which have sprouted up all over the place. Pros: Great music, atmosphere, desserts, coffee, tea & service Cons: Bathroom is upstairs more

Portland's original MAVERICK coffee house 11/6/2008

Rimsky's has been a favorite spot of mine for more than 15 years. Usually I try to make it down there on Tuesday evenings, when world-class classical guitarist Jeff Ashton is playing (if you close your eyes, it's easy to imagine Segovia himself playing there-- Jeff is that good).\r The service has always been friendly (and sometimes with a dash of wit), in my experience. We who are regulars to Rimsky's know that, when you first come in, it's crucial that you TAKE A MENU and sit down at a clean table when one becomes available. A long time ago I made the mistake of sitting down (without a menu, since I knew what I wanted) to a table which hadn't yet been cleared from the previous diners, and I was ignored until I got the waiter's attention. He then told me that he thought I had already finished eating! Lesson learned.\r The sundaes are elaborate... sometimes they go a little overboard on how much they give you, but that's nothing to complain about! I really love it when they have cobblers-- apple or peach or berry... the dessert chef does an excellent job on those. When there is no cobbler, my favorite standby is the chocolate ""poe de creme"" (the first word actually ends with a ""t"", but citysearch tells me that word is ""inappropriate""). Deee-licious! The espresso reminds me of Europe-- it's done just right, unlike that over-roasted swill you'd find at a national chain coffee shop.\r The atmosphere at Rimsky is quirky and friendly. One thing I might suggest is possibly hiring a seating host/hostess... because sometimes -- especially on busy nights -- the front lobby can be a little chaotic. But all in all, I would highly recommend this Portland original. Pros: atmosphere, MUSIC, service Cons: they don't take credit cards more

worst coffeehouse ever. zero service. 10/11/2008

don't waste your time hoping this place will be any good. the atmosphere was quite charming; nothing else was. we sat at a table near the piano for 30 minutes and no wait staff came over and talked to us at all. i did see two waitresses and as one took an order she looked over at us and smiled. the other one just ignored us completely. it is a rather small space and i just don't understand how this place keeps business when it ignores customers. finally, nobody was coming out from the kitchen for a good 15 minutes and we just decided to leave. as we did, another patron got up and went and knocked on the kitchen door for service. ridiculous. more

Poor service and bad food 9/23/2008

I think this is one of the most run down coffee shops in Portland, at one time this was a great place but you can tell no money has been invested back into the place. It is dirty, the service is slow and the food is over priced and lacks the quility for this type of market. The food is nothing more special then buying some ice cream at Fred Meyers and some frozen berries and putting it on top. The menu is limited and the coffee is nothing special. The service is the worse thing about Rimsky's . ... If you have a few hours to waste, don't mind paying high prices , and love to be treated like dirty by the employee's go to Rimksy's. Pros: location Cons: prices, SERVICE, dirty restroom and lobby more

Bad Service, dirty coffee shop 9/23/2008

I went once Rimsky's and that was enough for me. The service was really bad. I waited for 30 minutes only to finally sat down to find overpriced, average food and boring drinks. The coffee was old, and the ""mocha fudge cake"" was bland, a small serving, and over rated by the arrogant waitress. Even though the food was average, and the coffee needed to be replaced by a fresh cup, the waitress was the one single thing I would rate as horrible. She was rude, didn't give me honest answers to my questions, and seemed to be put on by someone asking about the items on the menu. I could tell she could care less about me. After she dropped off my desert ( only took her 10 minutes to get it and the coffee to me), I never saw her again till she brought out my ticket. She never checked to see if I was satisfied with the service, nor did she offer to refill / replace my coffee. She took the most time drawing a cat on my ticket. that was the best part of my whole Rimksy's experience. If she spent as much time tending to her customers and less time drawing cats on ticket stubs, maybe she would get a better tip and more returning customers. Pros: Nice building ... Cons: everything inside the building more

Excellent food, fun staff, and lovely entertainment 9/13/2008

I went to Rimsky -Korsakoffee House with a few friends for the first time just this past night. And it was a wonderful experience. The coffee was good, I had a delicious soy milk mocha, with hazelnut flavoring added in. And to go with it I had a sundae with chocolate syrup, and the best brownie I've ever had. I tried a bite or two of pretty much everything else my firends got, and it was all just as good. The honey lavender lemonade stood out especially so. \r \r The staff was friendly, attentive (and it was busy, too. I'm not sure what some of those other reviewers are on about... I didn't feel neglected at all...), and even fun. The whole place is full of personality and interest. It's decorated in the most delightful ways, and there's just so much to take in. (Be ready for a surprise the moment you walk into the bathroom!) Furthermore, the pianist who was performing that night made the overall atmosphere just wonderful. I had a great time, and plan on going back soon. If you're looking for a late night coffee and/or dessert place, you can't do much better than this. I don't have any complaints. Pros: food, service, atmosphere, live music, parking, value more

Tasty food, fun atmosphere. But the used syringe in the bathroom was kind of a turn off. 8/25/2008

We went to Rimsky's pretty late in the evening, and it was still quite packed. We ended up sitting at the large table in the back next to the kitchen. Prior to taking our seats, a number of us had to use the toilet -- the restroom decoration is quite amusing! However, upon exiting the restroom, my husband noticed a used syringe with a needle carelessly tossed in the display -- it was quite evident that the syringe was used for recreational, rather than medicinal, purposes. He didn't want someone to be hurt by it, so he picked it up with paper towel and hunted down an employee who could dispose of it. They didn't seem to give a toss about it. I would expect that an employee would at least try to smooth over such an incident, but they simply took the syringe without a word and walked away.\r \r Aside from that, the desserts and drinks were delicious (and decently priced), and the atmosphere was fun (live music, not too noisy), the wait staff was friendly enough (though service was a bit slow), and the house itself is quirky (there's little surprises all over the place). Had I not been rather turned off by the syringe in the restroom and the employee's response, or lack thereof, I would have rated my experience at Rimsky's above average. (I also wouldn't give high marks in overall cleanliness...there's a sort of ""dirty"" feel to the place.)\r \r I'm going there again over Labor Day weekend with a friend visiting from out of town, so we'll see how things go in Round Two. more

Customers waiting 8/21/2008

We arrived at 7:20 on a Friday in mid-August and were the first customers of the evening. We seated ourselves by an open window and enjoyed the breeze, and enjoyed the breeze, and enjoyed the breeze. After almost 10 minutes, a pleasant server broke away from the group of employees cloistered in the kitchen. Without a minute by minute description, let's just say service was so slow that a group of three women came in, seated themselves, waited a few minutes and left without any staff approaching them. A foursome nearly did the same. But, we knocked on the kitchen door to hand them our payment -- and let them know they had other customers. Maybe early evening service is slow because the staff is pacing themselves for the later night crowds. Pros: Yummy ice creams Cons: Quirky staff more

rude manager left us with a bad first impression 6/28/2008

My wife and I had literally just moved to Portland, and this place was on my short list of places to go that were close to our new home. We needed a late-night coffee stop, so we could get on the internet with our laptops, and organize the next day in our new city. In retrospect, we could have chosen better, I'm afraid. The atmosphere was already quite lively when we arrived, and we were lucky to find a table in a back corner of the room next to the kitchen. We had a charming waitress who was friendly and courteous, and considering how busy the place was, we can't really complain about the occasional waits between visits to our table.\r \r I worked in plenty of food industry jobs during my college years, so I understand how that economy works, and I ordered additional drinks and desert items every time our waitress returned, so she wouldn't feel like we were wasting her time. During our stay, a couple of tables next to us turned over once, so I assume that's why the waitress suddenly showed up with our check already added up - a bit ill-timed, as I had been waiting for her to return so I could order more drinks. A minute later, a harried woman - who I assume was a manager - came over and asked us to pay our check and vacate our table, stating that we had been there all night since they opened the doors, and were just ""taking up space"", and that other paying customers might need the table. Not only was she mistaken about some of her assertions, but as far as customer service goes, it was just plain rude.\r \r To the person who posted a review suggesting that people ignore all the negative reviews - this was something that actually happened, and whether it is typical of the service or not, it is nonetheless inexcusable and disrespectful. This review is not a knee-jerk response - far from it, I waited weeks before posting it, when we had some time to review businesses we've been in. No issues with food or ambiance, but we were offended, and will not likely return. Pros: quaint atmosphere, potential for a fun get-together (if you leave right away (I suppose) Cons: apparently more concerned with turning over tables than treating existing customers with respect more

Great For Anyone 5/3/2008

I discovered Rimsky's just in the fall this past year, and I have been back over there quite a bit. I live in the burbs, and whenever I'm up in Portland, I check this place out. The atmosphere is fun, crazy, and energetic. There isn't any time you'll be displeased with the great amount of desserts they have to offer. The Fool is by far the best item on the menu, but get there quick because they run out of them quick! Pros: Delicious, great place to hang with friends or date Cons: Sometimes they get realllly busy, so service can be a bit lagging more
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Menu for Rimsky-Korsakoffee House

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  • In Short
    Since 1980, the after-dinner crowd has been coming to this unassuming Victorian home for post-event socialization and live classical music. Upon entry, signs instruct patrons to...

  • 7/20/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Friday To Saturday From 07:00 PM To 01:00 AM Sunday To Thursday From 07:00 PM To 12:00 AM
  • Payments:

  • Neighborhoods:

    Buckman, Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program